Stevan Thorpe:Information about Richard Brackett
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Richard BrackettRichard Brackett (son of Peter Brackett and Rachel).
Notes for Richard Brackett:
Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-33
ORIGIN: Sudbury, Suffolk
FIRST RESIDENCE: Boston
REMOVES: Braintree 1641
RETURN TRIPS: Travelled to England in 1633 for his marriage, and then returned to New England in 1634
OCCUPATION: Husbandman. Boston jailkeeper, 1637-1640 [MBCR 1:217, 260; WP 4:175, 252].
CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Admitted to Boston church as member #144, which would be shortly before 11 November 1632 [BChR 15]. On 5 December 1641 he and his wife Alice were recommended to Braintree church [BChR 35], and on 8 May 1642 Richard Brackett was dismissed to Braintree church "at their desire of him unto the Office of a Deacon amongst them" [BChR 36]. (Savage gives 21 July 1642 as the date of Brackett's ordination as deacon, but the source for this has not been found.)
FREEMAN: 25 May 1636 [MBCR 1:372].
EDUCATION: Sufficient to be Braintree clerk of writs. Signed will with shaky hand.
OFFICES: Deputy for Braintree to General Court (as "Capt. Richard Bracket"), 23 May 1655, 3 May 1665, 15 May 1667, 31 May 1671, 15 May 1672, 27 May 1674, 7 October 1674, 19 May 1680, 4 January 1680/1 [MBCR 3:373; 4:1:222; 4:2:142, 331, 485, 507; 5:2, 15, 266, 303, 426]. Commissioner to meet with men of Plymouth "to lay out that marsh lying at Connahassett," 29 May 1655 [MBCR 4:1:230; also MBCR 3:380, 438]. Commissioner to lay out land, 5 December 1683 [MBCR 5:426]. Appointed by General Court "to join persons in marriage in the town of Braintry ... also to administer oaths in civil cases," 15 October 1679 [MBCR 5:251-52].
Braintree selectman, 1652, 1653, 1670, 1672, 1683 [BrTR 5, 6, 9-13, 21]. Braintree clerk of writs, 1646 to 1654 (The published volume of Braintree vital records is prefaced by a page, apparently part of the original record, which lists each of the persons who maintained the record book. The first clerk, in 1643, was Henry Adams, "then by Capt. Richard Brackett, then by Jno. Mills." Adams died in 1646, and Mills assumed the duty in 1654 [BrVR 627, 629, 635]). Appointed to various other town committees [BrTR passim]. Agent for Braintree in case against John Andrews and Benjamin Phippeny, 12 November 1659 [MBCR 4:1:401].
Admitted to Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1639 [HAHAC 1:86]. On 15 October 1684 on "the request of Capt[ain] Richard Brackett, being above seventy-three years of age, & infirmities of age upon him, having desired formerly, & now also, to lay down his place as chief military commander in Braintry, the Court grants his request ..." [MBCR 5:459].
ESTATE: On 21 March 1635/6 the Boston selectmen included Richard Brackett in a list of those who had been ordered on 30 November 1635 to build upon their allotments for habitation and had not done so [BTR 1:9]. On 18 February 1638/9 Richard Brackett was one of six men ordered to "make sufficient the cartway against Mr. Hutchinson's house, under which they drain their gardens" [BTR 1:38]. On 24 February 1639/40 Boston selectmen granted leave "to our brother Richard Brackett to mow the marsh lying in the New Field, which he hath usually mown, for this next summer time" [BTR 1:48].
On 25 October 1667 "Richard Bracket of Braintry ... husbandman" sold to John Hull of Boston, goldsmith, for £5 5s. thirty acres "within the woods in ... Braintry, but belonging to the said town of Boston & about twenty-five years past by the said town of Boston granted & laid out, to other men" [SLR 6:237].
On 13 July 1671 James Brackett of Boston, setcooper, sold to John Harris of Boston, mariner, for £12 "a parcel of land lying & being a part of the land purchased by him the said James Brackett & Richard Brackett his father of Jeremiah Bumstead of Boston aforesaid joiner, Richard Brackett his said father consenting thereto, & being a witness hereunto," the northwest bound being "the residue of land appertaining to the said James Brackett & his said father" [SLR 7:237-38].
In his will, dated 29 January 1688/9 and probated 19 December 1690, Richard Brackett of Braintree bequeathed to wife Alice Brackett for life entire estate in Braintree and all income from estate in Billerica; to the children of his son John "by his wife Hannah Brackett" one-fourth of his lands and housing in Billerica; to son Peter Brackett, son-in-law Simon Crosbey and son-in-law Joseph Thompson the remaining three parts of the Billerica estate to be divided equally; to son Peter Brackett £5; to "the two daughters of my son Josiah deceased Elizabeth and Sarah, "£20 apiece at age of twenty (to be paid by Peter Brackett, Simon Crosby, Joseph Thompson and the children of John Brackett); to "the said Sarah daughter of my son Josiah" £5 and "the feather bed her mother carried away"; to "my son James Brackett all my now dwelling house, barn, orchards, lands & meadows lying & being in Braintrey"; to "my son-in-law Joseph Crosby" £10; to "my daughter Hannah Blancher" 20s.; "my great Bible to my daughter Rachell Crosby for her use during her life & at her decease to be to my grandchild Abigall Tompson"; to "Hannah Brackett the daughter of my son John" movable goods worth £20; to "my beloved wife Allice Brackett" the rest of the movables for her to dispose of as she wishes; "whereas I have given to my grandchild Sarah Brackett the daughter of my son Josiah Brackett deceased five pounds, my will is that it should be null void & of none effect as also the ten pounds given to Joseph Crosby I give to his daughter Anna Crosby" [SPR 8:9].
BIRTH: Baptized at St. Gregory, Sudbury, Suffolk, 16 September 1610, son of Peter Brackett [and his wife Rachel] [TAG 52:73].
DEATH: Braintree 3 March 1690, aged 80 [BrVR 658].
MARRIAGE: At St. Katherine by the Tower, London, 6 January 1633/4 Alice Blower [NEHGR 127:17], baptized St. Gregory, Sudbury, Suffolk, 30 June 1615, daughter of Thomas Blower [and his wife Alice Frost] [TAG 52:74]; she was admitted to Boston church 8 November 1635 [BChR 19], and was recommended to Braintree church on 5 December 1641, along with her husband [BChR 35]; she died Braintree 3 November 1690, aged 76 [BrVR 658].
iHANNAH, bp. Boston 4 January 1634/5 [BChR 278]; m. (1) by 1656 Samuel Kingsley (eldest child b. Braintree 27 July 1656 [BrVR 632]); m. (2) by 1665 John Blanchard [Ezra S. Stearns, Early Generations of the Founders of Old Dunstable ... (Boston 1911), pp. 3-4; Granite Monthly 9:218-19].
iiPETER, bp. Boston 7 May 1637 [BChR 281]; m. (1) Braintree 7 August 1661 Elizabeth Bosworth [BrVR 717]; m. (2) Billerica 30 March 1687 "Sarah Foster, wid., of Cambridge" (also recorded Cambridge).
iiiJOHN, bp. Boston 7 May 1637 [BChR 281]; m. (1) Braintree 7 August 1661 Hannah French [BrVR 717 (also recorded Billerica)]; m. (2) Billerica 31 March 1675 Ruth Ellis [see TAG 24:154].
ivRACHEL, bp. Boston 3 November 1639 [BChR 284]; m. Braintree 15 July 1659 Simon Crosby [BrVR 716].
vMARY, b. Braintree 1 February 1641 [NEHGR 3:126]; m. Braintree 22 July 1662 Joseph Thompson [recorded Billerica].
viJAMES, b. Braintree about 1646 (d. Braintree 8 April 1718, aged 72 [NEHGR 11:298]); m. by 1675 Sarah Marsh. (On 11 May 1675 "James Bracket of Braintery ... cooper and Sarah Bracket his wife" sold to Benjamin Lincoln of Hingham, maltster, four acres in Hingham "which said four acres of planting land the said James Bracket stand seized of in right of Sarah his wife it being a part of her proportion of the estate left by Thomas Marsh her father deceased and was formerly the land of Nicholas Jacob" [SLR 10:138-39].)
viiJOSIAH, b. Braintree 8 May 1652 [BrVR 635]; m. Billerica 4 February 1672 Elizabeth Waldo.
viiiSARAH, b. Braintree say 1655; m. Braintree 1675 Joseph Crosby [BrVR 719].
ASSOCIATIONS: Through his mother and his wife Richard Brackett became a member of, and the first immigrant from, the largest kinship network as yet uncovered among the participants in the Great Migration, a network worked out mostly by Mary Lovering Holman, John Brooks Threlfall and Douglas Richardson. (See John Brooks Threlfall, Fifty Great Migration Colonists to New England & Their Origins [Madison, Wisconsin, 1990], pp. 63-116, for a summary of much of this research.)
Richard Brackett was son of Peter Bracket and his wife Rachel; another son of this couple was Peter Brackett who came to Braintree about 1636 [TAG 52:65-75, 92]. About 1618 Rachel, the mother of the two Brackett immigrants, married secondly Martin Sanders, and in 1635 Sanders, his wife, their Sanders children, along with Rachel (Brackett) Newcomb (sister of Peter and Richard Brackett), her husband, Francis Newcomb, and their children sailed for New England on the Planter [Hotten 48-49; TAG 55:215-217]. (A likely further connection arises through Martha Ray, wife of Peter Brackett. She was almost certainly first cousin to Simon Ray, who also came to Braintree, and the latter was in turn first cousin to Hester [Wells] Mason, wife of Hugh Mason who came to Watertown [TAG 56:94-96].)
From his admission to Boston church we learn that Richard Brackett was certainly in Boston by 1632, but he must have returned to England in 1633, for on 6 January 1633/4 he married at St. Katherine by the Tower, London, Alice Blower [NEHGR 127:17]. She was daughter of Thomas and Alice (Frost) Blower; she may have had two brothers who came to New England, and her father certainly came to New England in 1635, but apparently died soon [TAG 52:73-75; see also NEHGR 139:148-49]. Her mother, Alice Frost, was sister of Thomasine Frost, who married Edmund Rice, immigrant to Sudbury, and also of Elizabeth Frost, who married first Henry Rice and then Philemon Whale, the latter also an immigrant to Sudbury [TAG 15:227, 26:10-11; TG 6:131-41; Stevens-Miller Anc 143-44].
Taking into account all these persons and their children, then, there were more than forty future immigrants to New England who were related to Richard Brackett by blood or marriage before their departure from England.